Programs and Events


The guild’s theme for 2023-2024:  Embracing the Spark of Inspiration

Programs are generally held the fourth Tuesday of the month September through November and January through May, in the Community Room at the Madelyn Helling Library, Nevada City. Doors open at 6:15 PM and a brief business meeting begins at 6:45 PM. The featured program begins about 7:00 PM.

In June we have our annual picnic and “tailgate” sale, in July and August we are busy with the Nevada County Fair, and in December we hold an annual holiday pot luck gathering.

(Scroll to the bottom for recent past programs)

~ Tuesday, April 23, 2024
Beth Leydon – Working Upside Down:  intuitive felting with wool and silk

Doors open at 6:15 PM, meeting starts at 6:45 PM
Hybrid meeting: In-person and via Zoom.

Beth will describe her process in creating “Nuno” Felted wearable art. Utilizing paper fibers in place of roving and silk, she will guild participants in an experiential exercise in working upside down, experimenting with color form and layout. We’ll have fun being surprised by what emerges when we are not able to see the final product until completion.

Since childhood, I have been a maker and creator. Guided by my mother, I learned a range of “old school” fiber handicrafts. At school, I took every art class I could fit into my schedule.  In 2011, I was exposed to a simple felting technique and dove headlong into this ancient and ever evolving textile art form. I craft one-of-a-kind pieces utilizing wet and “nuno” felting processes. Wool, yarn, silk and other fibers are transformed into functional and wearable art. Scarves, hats, slippers, vests, purses and decorative vessels are among the items that I create.  I enjoy experimenting with hand dyeing and hunting thrift stores for garments to be repurposed. Locally sourced materials are utilized whenever possible. I offer classes and workshops at my home studio as well as community maker spaces.

Upcoming events:  I just joined ASIF Studios as a resident artist and am offering felting classes about once a month. For most current offerings check out:

I will also be participating in Open Studios Tour this year in October.

My work is also available at Art Works Co-op Gallery on Mill St. in Grass Valley and has been featured at the Asian Art Museum Gift Boutique in San Francisco.

~ Tuesday, May 28, 2024
Sharlet Elms – A Walk Thru History with Fiber as Our Guide

Doors open at 6:15 PM, meeting starts at 6:45 PM
Hybrid meeting: In-person and via Zoom.

Have you ever wondered where cloth comes from, why is it important, and for how long have we had cloth? If so, join me in a Walk Thru History looking at the development of fibers, dyeing and how civilizations influenced cloth. It is a fascinating walk through the annals of time and our use and dependence on fibers.

Bio:  Sharlet Elms

I am a Public Health Microbiologist by profession and a weaver, dyer and knitter by advocation. My mother taught me to knit as a child but I taught myself to weave and dye and I’m still learning to this day. I love being a teacher and I work with private students, teach at Rumpelstiltskin’s in Sacramento, and lecture and teach at guilds. I am also a judge throughout California. I am currently still working for the state of California as the Manager of the Public Health Microbiology Training Program in Richmond. What little spare time I have is spent with my husband camping along with our 2 boxers, Milo and Willow.





~  Knitting Group meets in person on the 1st Thursday of the month,
3-5 PM, location varies. All knitters welcome (beginners to experienced).
Members will receive further details via email. 

~  Spinning Group meets in person on the 2nd Wednesday of the month,
2-4 PM, Madelyn Helling Library, 980 Helling Way, Nevada City, CA 95959
Members will receive further details via email. 

~ Second Saturday Social in person on 2nd Saturday of the month.


FFG is hosting Social Saturdays at the Community Room of the Madelyn Helling Library in Nevada City on the 2nd Saturday of the month from 1-3 PM. Guild members will meet for knitting, spinning, and any other fiber fun you can carry with you.  Interested community members are welcome to join!

~ Weaving Group meets on the 2nd Saturday of the month via Zoom.

All weavers (from beginner to experienced) are welcome to join us as we share and learn from each other via Zoom (and occasionally in person). Members will receive further details via email. 


~ Tuesday, March 26, 2024
Linda Dean – Designs from Nowhere, Everywhere, and Everything in Between
Doors open at 6:15 PM, meeting starts at 6:45 PM
Hybrid meeting: In-person and via Zoom.

There are many different ways to find inspiration. Within the mundane of life, inspiration can live, and if the flame is nurtured, can bloom. However, it doesn’t happen without a little work. Skills for fanning this flame, for looking at the everyday world through a new lens, to be inspired to create will be discussed. Gain insight into how you see the world and what makes your sense of design special to you.

I am a self-taught crocheter that enjoys creating and designing new ways to put stitches together. I enjoy crocheting, finding it as my relaxation and rejuvenation time. I believe that the work through of a piece is just as important as the finished product; if you don’t enjoy the journey the destination isn’t as wonderful as it could be (and it may never get finished!). I have been teaching since passing the CGOA Master’s Program in 2010, and designing for publishing since 2012, and have been active with the Crochet Guild of America and a Past President. I am a Craft Yarn Council Certified Instructor and teach regularly at various local yarn shop in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains in California and Nevada, while restoring the home that my great-grandfather built with my husband and kids. Check out my journey at


~ Tuesday, February 27, 2024
Barbara Shapiro – Art in the Time of COVID

NOTE:  The Zoom Room opens at 6:15 PM, meeting starts at 6:45 PM
 via Zoom only. No in-person meeting at the library this month.


Barbara Shapiro will share the productive burst of artistic output inspired by moving her studio in January 2020 and by current personal and political events. The sequestration that Covid forced upon us all brought forth lots of new work in several series. Unfinished and abandoned projects from years ago were seen with new eyes and finally finished. Newly discovered materials inspired different ways of working. And as always, Indigo colored her materials. Barbara hopes to inspire you to look at your own work in new ways as you enjoy this saga of 2020-2023 in her studio in the time of Covid.

Bio:  Barbara Shapiro

Barbara Shapiro has been creating textile art for decades. She combines a rich knowledge of historical and ethnic textiles with broad technical experience in weaving, dyeing and basketry. Indigo is her specialty. After being involved in the San Francisco Art to Wear movement in the ’70s and ’80s, Barbara shifted her focus to textile art often. In woven silk with surface design. She has devoted much of her art practice to basketry for the past 19 years, working in both coiling and plaiting often with indigo dyed elements. She teaches frequent workshops and has taught at San Francisco State University and Osher Lifelong Learning through SFSU. A past Board Member of the Textile Society of America, she also serves as an Advisor on the Textile Arts Council of the Fine Arts Museums of SF. She was a docent at the Museum of Craft and Folk Art and guest curated Three Left Coast Artists at the San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles. She is a frequent contributor to textile publications and her award-winning wall pieces and baskets have been widely published and exhibited throughout the USA and in Canada, France, England, Ireland, Japan, Korea, China, and Israel.


~ Tuesday, January 23, 2024
Katy Atchison –
Metacognitive Skills for Artists: Gain Insight & Inspiration

Metacognition is simply the awareness and understanding of one’s own thought processes. For artists, dancers and writers we are much more clued into our dreams, ambitions and our ability to see beyond the way things appear to be. However, we let our inner critic take over when tackling big projects and looking for inspiration in new places.

Link to Zoom recording of program

Passcode:  %g3L6Hx0


~ Tuesday, November 28, 2023
Jane Milner – Make It and Take It – Dragon Boats
Doors open at 6:15 PM, meeting starts at 6:45 PM
In-person only meeting at the library.

Jane will finally be teaching us how to make lovely Dragon Boats!

What are Dragon Boats?  On a hot, muggy 5th day of the 5th month of the lunar calendar, the Chinese hold their Dragon Boat Races. They make up these charming decorations filled with insect repelling herbs to hang around the festivities.

Dragon Boats are lots of fun to make with inexpensive materials. All materials will be provided for our hands on meeting:  the cardboard blanks, lavender to fill the Dragon Boats (or dried black eyed peas if you don’t like the smell of lavender), hanging cord, some tassels, pins for the corners, and 1/8″ satin ribbon in many colors, a pattern, regular Scotch tape, double sticky tape, fabric glue.

Supply fee is $5.00 for materials needed to make two boats, to be collected at the meeting.
Please bring a pair of sharp scissors. We will be cutting 1/8″ ribbon.


**Tuesday, May 23, 2023
Brooke Sinnes – Dating Profiles of Natural Dyes:  Meet, greet and get to know natural dyes and the process.

Brooke is the owner of Sincere Sheep, a yarn brand focused on single-source, breed-specific, and custom-made yarns that are naturally dyed. She has been teaching natural dyeing, knitting, spinning, and weaving off and on for the past 18 years. Brooke finds it continually rewarding that through naturally dyed textiles we have an intrinsic link to our past and future. Like a thread throughout human history, dyes, colors and textiles have created a connection around the world to culture, geography, commerce and family.

Instagram  and website

**Tuesday, April 25, 2023
Heidi Leugers – Value Keys (Major and Minor)

Join Heidi Leugers, founder of Reclaimed Wool, as she shares how value keys influence the mood of a fiber project/artwork, including a garment.

Heidi’s studio, Reclaimed Wool, is a living exploration of sustainable expression; since 1998 she has ‘reclaimed’ all the waste created in her studio to make new items. Heidi’s zero waste practice is featured in the first series of academic texts to query a college art curriculum’s relationship to ecology, biology and materiality: Cycle-Logical Art – Recycling Matters for Eco-Art (Linda Weintraub, Artnow Publications, 2007).


Tens of thousands of her original designs have been sold at the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, the American Folk Art Museum, Chihuly Garden and Glass, Milwaukee Art Museum, Brooklyn Museum, DeCordova Museum and Sculpture Park, and Timberline Lodge, among hundreds of other museums, stores and galleries across the United States.

In 1996 Heidi shifted from knitting to hand spinning and embraced her true métier: wool! Her first task was to “unmask” wool yarn and reveal each sheep breed’s distinct qualities: wild, hairy, coarse, curly, soft, springy – by making miniature sheep from hand washed raw wool and recycled sweaters. Heidi has created functional and whimsical items from wool fiber, fleece, fabric, old garments, yarn and felt for 25 years. Utilizing her unique process for hand washing wool for lock integrity, Heidi once washed a black Navajo Churro lamb fleece for Deborah Robson, grown and raised by Priscilla Gibson-Roberts.

After earning a B.A. in both economics and French, Heidi trained as a stock broker in the North Twin Tower (WTC, Manhattan), then worked as an underwriter before returning to school to study printmaking, painting and art history at the Hartford Art School.

Reclaimed Wool website

**Tuesday, March 28, 2023
Elizabeth Williamson –  Executive Director of the Handweaves Guild of America

Elizabeth Williamson earned her Bachelor of Arts in Theatre Studies from Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio. She began her career as a Publicist for the Hara Complex and then as a Talent Representative for Kismet Productions. In 2006 Elizabeth joined Columbus Children’s Theatre as Managing Director where she oversaw a turnaround in the theatre’s finances and set new records for program participation. As a result of her work, she was a finalist for Columbus Business First’s 2010 CFO of the Year program. In 2013 the Aiken Center for the Arts in South Carolina hired Elizabeth as Executive Director. While in this position, she formed the Aiken Cultural Leadership Consortium to unite and support the arts and cultural organizations of Aiken for the purpose of collaboration, advocacy and community. Since 2015 Elizabeth has served as Executive Director of the Handweavers Guild of America in Suwanee, Georgia. As Executive Director, Elizabeth has been responsible for leading the board through the development of a strategic plan, consolidating technology platforms for a better customer experience, and nearly doubling the organization’s Convergence® conference attendance.

**Tuesday, January 24, 2023
Gretchen Hilyard Boyce – Fiber Travels to Portugal

Gretchen Hilyard Boyce will present photos from her travels to the Arraiolos region of Portugal this past summer with Threadwritten Textiles. Hear about the weavers, spinners, textile manufacturers, shepherds and artisans keeping Portugal’s rich fiber crafts alive. Gretchen will share about the traditional way to make Arraiolos rugs, Portugal’s palette of natural dyes, efforts to revive endangered sheep breeds, and the hidden symbols in the weaving patterns of the region. Come take an armchair trip to Portugal with Gretchen and gain some inspiration for your next fiber project!


**Tuesday, October 25, 2022
Alanna Wilcox – Color, Fiber and Dye

Are you a fiber enthusiast that is curious about color? Maybe you’re even “dyeing” to learn more about how and when color is applied to fiber influences a project’s visual outcome. In this lecture, Alanna will explore color perception, color theory, and how that can be applied to the projects we create as fiber artists. Alanna breaks down color theory in a very easy to understand way for the novice fiber colorist and then deep dives into the nuances that can be tapped into when one is aware of how human perception of color (and how that perception) can guide our choices in creating with fiber, yarn, and handmade fabrics.  

Alanna Wilcox is a fiber artist, professional educator, Master Spinner and color specialist with acid dyes. She loves empowering fellow fiber enthusiasts by helping them overcome their creative challenges, learn new skills, and achieve their fiber related goals through her expert instruction via online workshops and books. Alanna is constantly making things, especially projects that have to do with color and fiber to express her creativity. She earned the OHS Spinning Certificate with distinction in 2015 and the Master Spinner Certificate in 2017. She wrote and self-published the spinning book “A New Spin on Color” in addition to developing over 2,000 precision dye formulas to color match digital images and HEX colors. Her newest book “Color Alchemy: From Digital to Dye” will be available in a course she is developing for dyers and spinners that pairs the science of color with the art of dyeing. Working with fiber is something that she lives and breathes, sometimes literally.



**Tuesday, June 27, 2023
Annual Guild Summer Picnic
Pioneer Park, Nevada City (location)
Starts at 5:30pm, potluck dinner at 6:30pm, ends at 7:30pm.
Activities include: fiber sale/swap, games, Guild challenge showcase and prizes, potluck dinner, and social time.

**Tuesday, December  6, 2022 –  ANNUAL GUILD HOLIDAY PARTY
We had a lovely pot luck party connecting with old and new friends. We also collected many donations for local foster children and had an entertaining fiber gift exchange. Seasons Greetings to all!


**Nevada County Fair – August 10-14, 2022

**We held our Annual Summer Picnic on Tuesday, June 21, 2022. We met in person at Pioneer Park to celebrate the end of the Guild’s fiscal year and the beginning of summer. We had a potluck and shared our Guild Challenge projects during Show & Tell.


Guild Members can visit the Archives for older newsletters to see past programs